Last week we saw [NAME REDACTED]. This week we are seeing Case Keenum. In addition to these two monstrosities, there was Tom Savage, Brandon Weeden, T.J. Yates, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke, Ryan Mallett, and B.J. Daniels, all throwing passes for the Texans from 2014-2016.
Of all the quarterbacks from seasons’ past, which one was your favorite and why?
None of them. I hated having to watch each and every one of these monsters. J.J. Watt’s prime was lost in 2014. Yeah, sure, he’s having a great season this year, but it’s nothing compared to the almost 20 sacks/20 tackles for a loss/20 pass deflections club he almost created. Top ten defenses were wasted because the offense couldn’t score more than 20 points. They didn’t make the playoffs in 2014 because of quarterback play. A dominant Divisional Round defensive performance in New England was ruined by [NAME REDACTED]. It was the first time they actually could have beat the Patriots, and of course it didn’t happen because of the quarterback. All that talent, all that time wasted, all because of one position.
Although I hated watching these wretched slugs Sunday in and Sunday out, wondering what could have been, each one had a signature despicable play.
[NAME REDACTED] had The Frumble:
Case Keenum had The Keenum, a sack that loses seven yards or more:
Tom Savage had the strip-sack:
Brian Hoyer had this unbelievable jackpot reminiscent of a downfield pass:
RYAN MALLETT THROW HARD had this and sideline petulance:
Ryan Fitzpatrick had the dumpster diving and helmet interceptions:
T.J. Yates could beat the Bengals:
Although 2014-2016 was a slog through a mediocre wasteland where incredible defenses were stifled by the quarterback, each one at least provided moments that were both beautiful and sublime. Every Keenum sack taken, every Savage strip-sack, every Hoyer downfield heave, every time Mallett threw it as hard as he could at someone four yards away, every Fitzpatrick guillotine dive into end zone, every time Yates reincarnated into Jim Corbett against Cincinnati made it alright even if it was only for a second.
The man for whom finesse is a nothing more than a suggestion he chooses to ignore. Rex Grossman may have excited us all by the fact he threw it deep whenever he could, but Mallett was exciting because it didn’t matter whether you were 80 yards or 8 yards away; that ball was arriving directly at your face with the exact same velocity. Mallett’s preferred turkey carving method is with a chainsaw. He sees speed limit signs as warnings to never travel at such a low speed.
I’ll always fondly remember that fastball throwing, lead footed, alarm clock hating goober who could throw the ball over the damn mountains. All of the others are interesting in some ways (Case Keenum throwing the highest deep ball I’ve ever seen, T.J. Yates for all of his playoff heroics, etc.) but no one encompasses the hilarious absurdity Mallett did. He was endlessly talented and endlessly finding new ways to ruin it.
It’s funny that, after all this time, people still think TEAM KEENUM is a good QB. One tremendous outlier of a season does not make him good.
That said, I miss seeing the Keenums, which is a sack when the QB is running backwards. Those are fun! I miss Tom Savage’s imitation of a statue. I miss Brandon Weeden being the oldest QB in the league at 102 years old. I miss Brian Hoyer’s floaters. I miss Ryan Mallett’s imitations of Nuke LaLoosh (he hit Toro three times!). I barely remember Heinicke and Daniels.
Wait, I don’t miss any of those things. They were all terrible in their own, unique ways. Occasionally, they played well enough to give a fan or two hope, but none were ever the answer, nor were they going to be.
But I do miss Ryan Fitzpatrick. A true journeyman of a QB with little to no arm talent, there have been few more exciting QBs to watch in the past 30 years. For him, every snap is the last play of the Super Bowl. 50-72-1 as a starter, he has suddenly become Rex Grossman on steroids.
You see, he’s a Harvard grad, which I bet you’ve never heard, and he’s learned that one of the most important aspects of being a quality QB in the NFL is that you have got to push the ball downfield. The pendulum will eventually swing back, but he’s a fun guy to watch.
All hail the mighty Ryan Fitzpatrick, aka #HoboQB.
Asking me which of these quarterbacks I miss most is like asking me which of my hypothetical children I hate the least.
They all bring their own special flavor of terrible to the spoiled garlic dip that was the pre-Deshaun Watson Texans offense. But if I have to choose one, I’ll go with American Hero Case Keenum.
Why? First of all he went to my school. That counts a lot, even if I didn’t think he’d do much as a quarterback. Second of all, in a perverse way, while he was with the Texans, every week with Keenum under center was like a box of chocolates...rancid, poorly-made chocolates that you found in a dumpster in a back alley. You never knew what you were going to get, but you were reasonably sure it’d have you running for the bathroom upon consumption.
Although I do have a soft spot for Ryan Fitzpatrick, like BFD does. Every game he started, you knew, you just KNEW that he was going to do something so mindbendingly dumb that it would likely cost the Texans, but you never knew when it would happen. That kind of suspense will keep a guy interested in a football game he should’ve turned off some time ago.
Can we mix them all into one big Frankenquarterback?
- Ryan Mallett’s arm
- Ryan Fitzpatrick’s intelligence
- Case Keenum’s shiftiness
- T.J. Yates’ ability to beat the Bengals no matter what
- Brian Hoyer’s ability to convince professional talent evaluators he was Tom Brady’s heir apparent... oh wait, that does us no good...
Mallett was the one I had the highest hopes for - man, just putting Fitz’s brain into Mallet’s body would have made a great QB.
Even taking all the upside each of the prior Texans QBs brought, even Matt Schaub, to make one “Super QB” wouldn’t produce a player I’d trade Deshaun Watson for. DW4 is special and has that x-factor Hall of Fame QBs all have, which is something none of the previous Houston Texans signal callers did.
How anyone could give an answer besides T.J. Yates is beyond me. As a rookie, he came in and
ledassisted the Texans in their drive to the first division crown, first playoff appearance, and first playoff win in franchise history.
It’s T.J.’s world. The rest of these quarterbacks are just living in it and finding new ways to enrage the Texans’ fan base.